I think we’ve all faced this situation. We buy a puppet (or have one created) and it just doesn’t work! You’ve tried a multitude of voices; did character profiles in various ways; and have experimented with your presentation, and it just didn’t “click” for you. The audience didn’t accept the character and the entertainment value just wasn’t there.

Even the greats in vent had some “bombs” that they had to stop using. The great Edgar Bergen had a Swedish chef that didn’t resonate with him and his audiences, so Bergen wisely abandoned the character. I personally have never been too fond of using “thing puppets”. Talking items that were not human or animal I had difficulties with. Try as I might I suffered through using them but eliminated them as soon as I could from my act. If I DID use an object puppet I would sandwich it in between strong animal or people puppets, to lessen the effects of this character. One exception was the Axtell drawing board. It was a winner from the start and I am happy to use it as a utility bit in my shows.

I encourage you to try different things before moving away from an unsuccessful puppet. Work it, use it, and try to make it your own, but if it isn’t working know when to walk away from the character and focus on something more productive for your show.

To reach Mark Wade- kidshowvent@gmail.com